MANILA – An election watchdog official is supporting the call to extend the voter registration deadline for the 2022 polls in areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and modified ECQ.
Eric Alvia, secretary general of the National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel), said in an online briefing Tuesday it would be "ideal" to extend the registration because many potential voters have yet to register.
“Yes (in favor), at least in those areas that went through MECQ and ECQ. Selective extension,” he said. "We understand why there are calls to extend the deadline for voter registration because a lot of areas have ongoing lockdown and the ECQ and MECQ have suspended the voter registration."
“It would be ideal if we would extend the voter registration but it's also difficult for Comelec to extend it because on October 1 to 8, the Comelec will start receiving the Certificate of Candidacy (COC) of those who wish to run for the 2022 elections. If you will extend voter registration, where will you hold the voter registration if the Comelec office will be used to receive COC and Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance,” Alvia said.
Although the schedule is tight, Alvia said it would be better to try and hold all pre-election activities.
“We are on a tight schedule right now but I think the reality is we really have to try to fit all the activities within around 30 days left,” Alvia said.
Some groups are urging the Comelec and the lawmakers to extend the registration period for at least a month to accommodate eligible voters.
However, the Comelec had earlier thumbed down such proposals to extend beyond the Sept. 30 deadline saying it would affect preparations for the May 2022 polls.
Metro Manila and other provinces areas are under MECQ until Sept. 7. (PNA)